Evidence for volcanic craters on Saturn's moon Titan

Volcano-like features seen in polar regions of Saturn's moon Titan by NASA's Cassini spacecraft could be evidence of explosive eruptions that may continue today, according to a new paper by Planetary Science Institute Senior ...

The dark dunes of Mars: Moreux crater

Known for its wide swathes of rippling, textured, gently sloping dunes, the Terra Sabaea region on Mars is home to many fascinating geological features—including the prominent Moreux crater, the star of a new image from ...

Sand dunes can 'communicate' with each other

Even though they are inanimate objects, sand dunes can 'communicate' with each other. A team from the University of Cambridge has found that as they move, sand dunes interact with and repel their downstream neighbours.

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Dune

In physical geography, a dune is a hill of sand built by wind. Dunes occur in different forms and sizes, formed by interaction with the wind. Most kinds of dunes are longer on the windward side where the sand is pushed up the dune and have a shorter "slip face" in the lee of the wind. The valley or trough between dunes is called a slack. A "dune field" is an area covered by extensive sand dunes. Large dune fields are known as ergs.

Some coastal areas have one or more sets of dunes running parallel to the shoreline directly inland from the beach. In most cases the dunes are important in protecting the land against potential ravages by storm waves from the sea. Although the most widely distributed dunes are those associated with coastal regions, the largest complexes of dunes are found inland in dry regions and associated with ancient lake or sea beds.

Dunes also form under the action of water flow (alluvial processes), and on sand or gravel beds of rivers, estuaries and the sea-bed.

The modern word "dune" came into English from French circa 1790. In ancient times, words cognate to "dune" probably had the meaning of a built-up hill or citadel fortification.

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